RIP 'Surfing Magazine': The Rag That Captured the Sport in All Its Irreverent Glory

Surfing Magazine, the loud, splashy face of the sport since 1964, folded this week.

When I started writing for surf magazines in the 1990s, the internet was an obscure hobby for geeks, and the Holy Trinity of surf media went like this: Surfer’s Journal was the new, upscale quarterly full of serious think-pieces and rosy-hued nostalgia trips for older longboarders; Surfing Magazine, which was founded in 1964 and died this week, targeted teenagers through contest coverage and loud graphics and minuscule blocks of irreverent text; and Surfer Magazine acted as the clear Bible of the Sport and is still its most recognizable brand.

MORE: 8 Healthy Habits of Big-Wave Surfer Laird Hamilton[1]

I wrote earnestly brainy stuff for The Surfer’s Journal, and I joined packs of pro surfers on trips to Iceland and the Galapagos Islands for Surfer, but Surfing Magazine was the one I picked up every time I saw a new issue in the grocery store. I read it cover to cover in those pre-Facebook, pre-Snapchat, pre-YouTube days, when splashy pictures and words in a monthly magazine were a surfer’s only source of news about the giant waves ridden at Waimea Bay three months ago and the secret to the so-called “pig dog” stance for backside tube-riding. There were years when I burned with envy over Surfing’s surprisingly long articles by giants like the iconoclastic surfer/monk Dave Parmenter, the insanely loquacious historian/prophet Sam George, and the plain-old-brilliant Chris Carter, who went on to create the X-Files TV series. For a while, Surfing Magazine struck an excellent balance between eye-catching design, unabashed obsession with young guns and big airs, and smart commentary.

Over the years, though, as Web-delivered content became the freight train roaring down the tracks that every print magazine was trapped on — and as we all learned to expect YouTube videos of epic Pipeline barrels within hours of their happening — every member of the old Holy Trinity appeared to double down on their target demographics. Surfing Magazine, in other words, seemed to become ever-more tailored to the under-16 ADHD set, ever-less relevant to anyone inclined to sit still for more than 60 seconds. “Surfing did launch a half-assed website called back in 1998,” says Matt Warshaw, caretaker of and a former editor-in-chief of Surfer, “but all they did to change the print magazine was remove things. They took out contest coverage, they took out letters to the editor, and they ended up with a magazine that felt thin and pointless.”

ALSO: Epic One-Day Adventures: Surfing in Montauk[6]

If you're wondering how such an iconic publication could die after so many successful years in such a popular and youth-driven sport, consider the following question: If you were a surf-trunks manufacturer looking to reach the eyeballs of surf-crazed 14-year-old boys, would you spend a fortune on print advertisements in a magazine that came out only once a month, filled its pages with frame-grab photos of barrel rides everybody watched on ages ago, and required kids to read actual words on a page? Or would you spend a fraction of that money on bikini-chick web ads that popped up every time those boys tried to watch a 30-second wipe-out video on their mobile phones?

That’s another way of saying that Surfing Magazine died for the same reason lots of print magazines are in trouble, but sooner than most because it was uniquely ill-positioned to survive the impact of the Internet freight train. “All that’s really happened here,” says Matt Warshaw, “is that a magazine that’s long been on life support has been mercifully put down.” Still, it’s a damn shame because videos of wipe-outs and barrels and tubes and monster waves — fun as they are — do nothing to connect a surf-stoked grommet with the broader culture and traditions of the coolest sport on earth. But maybe the surfer’s education and the sense of identity it can bring will happen later now, after kids grow up and subscribe to Surfer’s Journal and discover the joy of putting down that smart phone and sacking out on the couch with a long and thoughtful article about the glory days of surf magazines, and how there used to be this kind of Holy Trinity, and, well, you get the idea. 


  1. ^ MORE: 8 Healthy Habits of Big-Wave Surfer Laird Hamilton (
  2. ^ for The Surfer’s Journal,  (
  3. ^ Dave Parmenter (
  4. ^ Sam George (
  5. ^ (
  6. ^ ALSO: Epic One-Day Adventures: Surfing in Montauk (
  7. ^ (

Running Coast to Coast in 42 Days

Credit: Zandy Mangold (4)

In 1980, Frank Giannino Jr. ran across the U.S. in 46 days. Since then, dozens have tried and failed to beat that record — three attempts in 2016 alone. Then came 29-year-old Nebraskan Pete Kostelnick, who decided to take a data-fueled approach. Using Google Maps, he devised the shortest route that would avoid most high mountain passes. Once on the road, he and his crew carried GPS trackers to make sure they were on the correct route. His sister even drove ahead to scope out potential hazards. "We had our routine down in the second week," says Kostelnick. "A lot of people are less consistent when they do runs and not as scientific as we were." Here's how he topped a record that once seemed unbeatable.

ALSO: Last Year's 19 Greatest Record-Breaking Feats[1]

1. Prep and Launch

Kostelnick trained by running 30 miles every day for three months. Upon setting out, he immediately realized he hadn't counted on one thing: Bay Area congestion, which held up his support crew and created a series of dicey situations.

"I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere the first day," he says.

2. Snowfall

Kostelnick had a strict regimen: wake up at 3 a.m., eat breakfast, run 40 miles, take a lunch break, then run another 30 to 35 miles. He ended around 5:30 p.m. to get a full night's sleep. But delays were inevitable, including a storm in Utah that forced him to walk for miles in up to four inches of powder.

3. Road Raging

One constant danger was narrow or nonexistent road shoulders. "You're basically swimming with sharks," he says. "Thousands and thousands of cars were driving by, and it would take only one person to be distracted. Sometimes there was nowhere to run but into a ditch."

4. Running in the Rain

Three vehicles followed Kostelnick, including the RV in which he slept and got nightly massages. But the car roof over his head couldn't stop him from being pelted with two days of precipitation while running across Pennsylvania. "Constant heavy rain," he says. "That was the worst."

5. New York

By day 42, Kostelnick had suffered through a swollen knee, aching hips, hamstring issues, and tendinitis (which flared up in Yosemite, forcing him to stop for a day). But his reception in New York made up for it. "We were running through Times Square, and people were cheering me on," he says.

A Quiver of Shoes

Eight pairs of Hoka Clifton[2] running shoes (and the same number of socks), which Kostelnick alternated throughout. "Most were straight out of the box, and I'd break them in and rotate them, especially on a rainy day. Also I wanted to make sure I wasn't getting any overuse injuries by wearing the same pair."

A Record Diet

Breakfast[3] was instant oatmeal, toast, and a banana, often followed by a McDonald's breakfast sandwich — no coffee but lots of V8 and the occasional Diet Coke. During his runs, Kostelnick threw back trail mix and Gatorade. In his RV at night, his team prepared homemade meals, especially red meat to stave off anemia. He consumed 10,000 to 14,000 calories daily.


  1. ^ ALSO: Last Year's 19 Greatest Record-Breaking Feats (
  2. ^ Hoka Clifton (
  3. ^ Breakfast (

Public Land For Sale! Here Are Some of the 3.3 Million Acres Being Eyed for Disposal

Fishing in Harney, Oregon, a county that has some 44,000 acres of it deemed fit for "disposal" by the Department of Interior. Credit: Getty Images

Back in 1997, then Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt was required by Congress to "examine their holdings" — basically to rank public lands that the government could sell off to support an Everglades restoration project. The list, which is hosted here on Jason Chaffetz's (R-UT) Congressional Website, offers up a whopping 3.368 million acres in 10 states — specifically Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. While the exact land for sale is not identified, the counties where the land is held (190 in total) is. Connecting the dots isn't too hard to do to see which areas, and communities, will be affected. And it's clear that some of this so-called "disposal land" is far from worthless — especially for hunters, anglers, hikers, and bikers.

Why does this matter now? With public land sales back on the docket (H.R. 621, introduced by Chaffetz[2]), this 1997 document is a sort of wish list of lands for sale (you can find another version on BLM's site[3]). But even in 1997 this document was far from airtight: "Please note many lands identified appear to have conflicts which may preclude them from being considered for disposal or exchange," wrote then Assistant Secretary Bonnie Cohen. "Conflicts include high disposal costs, critical natural or cultural resources and habitat, mineral claims and leases, and hazardous conditions.” Many of the lands are home to endangered species, like the desert tortoise and Mexican gray wolf. Twenty years later, many of the potential conflicts have become more problematic, thanks to new National Monuments, newly identified species, and, let's not forget, outdoorsmen, who have always made use of the land — our land[4].

Below are some examples of land that could be on the auction block if Chaffetz's bill is passed. Get your checkbook ready!

State: Wyoming

County: Sheridan

The Potential Land: 35,200 acres of BLM-managed land in the Powder River Basin, which is just east of the Bighorn Mountains, popular with hikers, campers, horseback riders, and hunters.

State: Wyoming

County: Park

The Potential Land: 27,300 acres surrounding the Shoshone River, a popular fly-fishing stream in northern Wyoming. Most of the BLM-managed land in Park County is downstream of the town of Cody, which sits between the Big Horn, Owl Creek, Bridger, and Absaroka mountain ranges. Tourism is the town’s primary industry.

State: Oregon

County: Harney

The Potential Land: 44,000 acres in a county that’s home to Steens Mountain, a 9,733-foot peak that’s popular with campers and hunters, and Malheur National Forest.

State: New Mexico

County: Catron

The Potential Land: 25,000 acres that contain “cultural resources,” meaning it’s probably home to pueblo ruins. The land is most likely a giant tract southwest of the town of Quemado, and some of the land abuts the Gila National Forest, home to the endangered Mexican gray wolf, the Gila trout, and some of the best elk hunting in the U.S.

State: Colorado

County: Montrose

The Potential Land: 2,105 acres that is home to endangered species and “historic/cultural resources.” The surrounding area contains the Gunnison Gorge, famous for its rafting and fly-fishing trips, and Uncompahgre National Forest, which is home to elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, and mountain goat.

State: Nevada

County: Elko

The Potential Land: 208,900 acres that contains endangered species, historic resources, and is home to “wetlands/floodplain.” BLM-managed land makes up a giant percentage of land in Elko County, but exactly what land is up for consideration is unclear, or what the effects might be.

State: Arizona

County: Mohave

The Potential Land: 23,525 acres with mining claims and historic resources. A comment attached to the description notes that the land is “classified as habitat for the Desert Tortoise (a sensitive species).”

Total Acres That Could Be Up For Sale, By State:

Arizona: 453,950

Colorado: 93,741

Idaho: 110,022

Montana: 94,520

Nebraska: 6,615

Nevada: 898,460

New Mexico: 813,531

Oregon: 70,308

Utah: 132,931

Wyoming: 694,200


  1. ^ here on Jason Chaffetz's (R-UT) Congressional Website (
  2. ^ H.R. 621, introduced by Chaffetz (
  3. ^ on BLM's site (
  4. ^ our land (

John Glenn, the First American to Orbit Earth and Space Age Legend, Dies at 95

John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, former U.S. Senator, and space age legend has died at 95 after being hospitalized for more than a week.

Glenn’s remarkable life took him through two theaters of war as a pilot, into space as a civilian, and then into the United States Senate as an elected official. Glenn had an aviation and adventure resume that is without equal. In 1962, Glenn was the first American to enter orbit in space. In 1998 he became the oldest person to go into space.

ALSO: Right Stuff, Wrong Time[1]

Glen likely would have made it to the moon as well, had then president John F. Kennedy not declared him too valuable an asset to be sent into space again.

A combat pilot during WWII and Korea, Glenn flew over 150 missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross five times. He was one of a few hundred selected for the Mercury program back in the 1950s.

MORE: What It Feels Like to Get Launched Into Space[2]

Glenn left NASA in the 1960s and became a senator in 1974 and remained there for four terms. He spent the last 73 years of his life married to his wife, Annie.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Glenn will be buried near Washington, D.C., at Arlington National Cemetery in a private service, after lying in the Ohio state house for a day.


  1. ^ ALSO: Right Stuff, Wrong Time (
  2. ^ MORE: What It Feels Like to Get Launched Into Space (

Arctic Explorers Face an Unusual Challenge: A Lack of Ice at the North Pole

Following the warmest autumn on record[1] in the contiguous U.S., some of our favorite ski resorts are finally starting to see snow. Unfortunately, the same is not true for the Arctic, where temperatures continue to rise. In November, the National Snow and Ice Data Center sounded the latest alarm, reporting “the North Pole is an insane 36 degrees warmer than normal[2].” Not surprisingly, the amount of sea ice, which covers most of the Arctic Ocean at the North Pole during winter, also hit a record low level. Climate scientists were quick to point out that Antarctica, too, saw record lows in sea ice extent in the month of November.[3] Then, on December 6, the Russian Arctic reached 40°F — a whopping 60 degrees warmer than usual. Meteorologist Eric Holthaus’s tweet[4] that day — “Wow”— perhaps said it best, although "holy shit" would also have been appropriate.

At this rate, winter 2016 is looking to be a repeat of the extremes that occurred in winter 2015, when temperatures at the North Pole soared 50 degrees higher than normal, up past 32°F, and conditions went from unusually warm to scary-warm[5] (read: melting). The National Snow and Ice Data Center blames the freakishly high air temperature currently hanging over the Arctic on an unusual jet stream pattern (the same one causing extreme cold in northern Eurasia), that's literally blowing hot air in places it shouldn't. The warmer-than-normal ocean temperature is courtesy of the Gulf Stream circulating warm water from the Atlantic Ocean up to the Arctic. Or as Mark Serreze, who heads the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., puts it, a "double whammy."

Scientists and environmentalists aren’t the only ones concerned. Arctic explorers have been reporting increasing Arctic temperatures and decreasing sea ice for years, which renders their expeditions increasingly difficult, and eventually impossible.

In 2014, when Eric Larsen and Ryan Waters completed their 480-mile trek from Canada's Northern Ellesmere Island to the geographic North Pole, they dubbed it “Last North[6],” believing the sea ice had become so fractured, and contained so many pools of meltwater, that no one would be able to cross on foot ever again. Afterward, Borek Air, the sole service that resupplies (and rescues) explorers, scientists, and the government, discontinued their North Pole service for adventure expeditions.

ALSO: Eric Larsen and Ryan Waters Set a New Arctic Speed Record[7]

Sebastian Copeland and expedition partner Mark George may very well be the only team left that is still considering another attempt. They’ve been training for two years, most recently in August, by completing a 404-mile trek across Australia’s Simpson Desert that attempted to mimic the grueling conditions of pulling supply sleds over fractured ice by towing wheeled carts across sand dunes.

As part of their preparation to cross the Arctic in 2017, Copeland has been monitoring the condition of the sea ice, and irregularly interfacing with the NSIDC (National Snow and Ice Data Center). “The poor conditions this time of year bodes poorly for the Arctic ice in general, and is worrisome considering my objectives, but is not unprecedented,” Copeland told us.

COPELAND: My Record-Breaking Trek Across the Simpson Desert[9]

For now, the plan is all systems go — particularly considering how quickly conditions at the extreme ends of the earth can change. “A brisk turn of event can change conditions on a dime,” says Copeland. “Such is the unpredictability of the Arctic sea ice.” He’s not the only one hoping conditions change fast, in a hell-freezing-over kind of way.


  1. ^ warmest autumn on record (
  2. ^ 36 degrees warmer than normal (
  3. ^ ice extent in the month of November. (
  4. ^ Eric Holthaus’s tweet (
  5. ^ scary-warm (
  6. ^ Last North (
  7. ^ ALSO: Eric Larsen and Ryan Waters Set a New Arctic Speed Record (
  8. ^ Sebastian Copeland (
  9. ^ COPELAND: My Record-Breaking Trek Across the Simpson Desert (